There is nothing more humbling, empowering or motivating than training for a marathon. You push yourself out of your comfort zone, fight doubts and fears, and prove to yourself that you are so much stronger than you ever imagined. (All while building the strongest #ThrowbackThursday game possible.) Whenever anyone tells me that they are thinking about running their first half or full marathon, I always tell them this: "DO IT WITH A CHARITY."
Now I know what you're thinking, "Kelly, there's no way I could ever run a full marathon." Let's start with a list of possible excuses you may have that is holding you back from running 26.2 life changing miles:
1. You don’t have time.
No one actually has the time to train for a marathon. It's 6-8 months of your life! If you're a busy person, it just takes some prioritizing and planning ahead. It's only a few months of your life. Make the sacrifice! You won't regret it.
2. You hate running. (Valid)
As former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I can assure you that you don't hate running; you just haven't suffered through running long enough to enjoy running's infinite benefits. Anyone, regardless of their age or fitness level, can become a runner.
3. It’s too hot and/or too cold to run outside.
Layers or lack of layers people. There's a method behind running in cold or hot weather. It's not impossible!
4. You don’t have the money to run.
There are ways you can train for a maraton and not break the bank.
5. You don’t think you can do it.
I didn't think I could do it either. Ask every single first time marathoner and they will all echo your fears.
6. You don’t want your social life to suffer.
Your social life won't suffer, you'll gain some new incredible and driven running friends!
7. Work is just really hectic right now.
When is work not hectic? If you're drowning at work, running will be the best thing to ever happen to you. I hope you're ready for your entire life to change because things are going to be different after you cross that finish line. Just you wait.
Look, I'm not saying you're not too busy to run a marathon. I'm just saying those reasons why you don't think you could run a marathon are nothing more than a bunch of excuses.
Excuse: Tools of incompetence, used to build monuments of nothingness, and those who specialize in them seldom accomplish anything.
Example: “I can’t train for a half marathon because I have all sorts of responsibilities.”
The only excuse on that list that really stands in your way is “I can’t do it.” I still wrestle with this one. In fact, I'm wrestling with it right now. I’ve run dozens of half marathons and over 5 marathons now and every time I register for a new race, I panic and think to myself, “I can’t do this.” I get it, it's intimidating, overwhelming and it feels impossible. daunting. But it's not impossible, it just isn't easy!
This year I decided I wanted to do more than just run my favorite races, I wanted to team up with a charity to not only raise money for an organization I believed in, but I wanted to help first time marathoners or marathoners with specific goals cross the finish line as well. That is why I've teamed up with the incredible charity Save the Children to run both the Chicago and New York City Marathons and I want you to run either (or both!) marathons with me!
There are a million reasons why you should run with a charity but first and foremost, running with a charity makes training for and then running your marathon that much more momentous. You'll have coaches, teammates, training plans, support, and guidance from people who want to help you succeed. Your race becomes so much more than just proving to yourself you can do it. When you run with a charity, you are making a difference in other people’s lives! You think about that every single time you doubt yourself.
I was terrified the first time I ran a race with a charity. I was sure I wouldn't be able to raise the money or that my friends and family members would feel harassed when I asked for donations. But here’s the kicker, raising money was the easiest part of training for a marathon! If you're intimidated by a fundraising goal, we're here to help you! We will give you the tools you need to reach your goal in fun and unique ways. You can make a difference! You aren't alone!
If you're on the fence about running the Chicago Marathon or the New York City Marathon, or if you really wanted to run but didn't get in via the lottery, join team Save the Children and run with me! I'll be creating exclusive training content for our Save the Children Charity teams and I will be with you not only virtually throughout training but physically on race day!
So what are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose and so much to gain! I know you can do it. Take the leap of faith! Set a goal to do something incredible this year and run a marathon! Get excited because it's going to be an incredible journey!